I know a good souvenir when I see one. I buy it as well, and there you have my problem. Because what do you do with your travel memories once you’re back home?
A fabric lampoon from Laos, a Kimono from Japan (including wooden flip flops and socks with pre-shaped toes), bags of obscure spices from Portugal, two handmade quilts from India, heck, even a Yak-woollen winter hat and matching slippers from Nepal. It all seemed like such a good idea at the time.
But at home, you find that the conical hat you’ve been guarding with your life during your trip to Vietnam doesn’t quite fit with your woollen turtle neck sweaters back home. Or that your family doesn’t actually like listening to your didgeridoo practice.
Most souvenirs in my house usually end up gaining dust in a forgotten corner of my house.
I like hats. No. Really.
Storage ideas for souvenirs
Then –as often- IKEA turned out to have the solution to all my problems. From their frames and posters section, I picked up these little black shadow boxes and started to fill them with everything from my past trips that would fit into it.
On the next trips I made, I promised myself to only buy souvenirs that would fit into one of these little boxes.
My wall is starting to look quite artistic now, and it brings back a lot of travel memories when I look at them. Another great plus side is that the souvenirs don’t get a layer of dust on them at the same time.
More ideas of what to do with souvenirs
Some of my travelling friends have the same problem as me. We could start a support group for souvenirs-cluttering-travellers. But as always, the creative traveller finds ways to solve this problem and comes up with more clever ideas to keep and organize holiday souvenirs. What about:
- Buy only souvenirs that you can use as decorations in your Christmas tree. That way, you can keep them in a box all year and bring them out in December only. It will bring back lots of travel memories all at once!
- Bring back flat key chains from a country/city and stick them in a postcard-size frame (IKEA has them as well – of course). You can decorate the background with gift wrapping or wallpaper-samples that you can pick up at your local paint shop.
- Keep on buying just 1 type of souvenirs: only magnets (on the fridge or whiteboard), only flag badges (sew on your bag or a pillow), only shells (display under glass table or on a shelf, but check customs rules & regulations first), only sand to fill little jars or only teddy bears with country specific clothes on (my mother in law has a holiday-stuffed-animal-shelf in the toilet…)
- Have a clear idea of what to buy before leaving. Does the country you’re going to have a specific craft? Get 1 item to decorate your house with and stick to it… if you can.